Area guides

Alston & the Cumbrian North Pennines

Alston & the Cumbrian North Pennines

The countryside around Alston, England’s highest market town, provides some of the area’s finest walking country, including the lofty Cross Fell – the highest English hill outside the Lake District!

North Pennines escarpment

The imposing North Pennines escarpment represents an unmistakable western frontier for the North Pennines and is a dramatic backdrop to the attractive, red sandstone-built, fellfoot villages.


Alston is well worth a visit – a wealth of small independent shops await you, galleries, unspoilt street scenes and a choice of quality eateries to while away an hour or three!

Get involved in a range of walking, cycling, adventure, bird watching and nature opportunities.

Places to visit, things to do

Railway enthusiasts can hop on the South Tynedale Railway in Alston and enjoy a scenic ride along the South Tyne Valley. Nearby are the remains of Epiacum, one of the best preserved examples of a Roman fort in Europe. While further north, The RSPB Geltsdale Nature Reserve is a good place to see the rare Black grouse.

  • South Tynedale Railway – Train rides along the gorgeous South Tyne Valley from Alston – 01434 382 828 (talking timetable), 01434 338 214. Why not take the train out and wander back along the South Tyne Trail?
  • High Cup Nick – Take a wander from Dufton up to this classic U-shaped valley.
  • The Hub Museum, Alston. Vibrant local history and transport museum, packed full of bygone forms of transport.
  • Epiacum Roman Fort – Discover the remains of Epiacum Roman Fort, in the South Tyne Valley, near Alston.
  • Brough Castle – The starkly impressive Brough Castle stands on a ridge commanding the strategic Stainmore Pass, on the site of a Roman fort.
  • Hartside Viewpoint – Stunning views await you from Hartside – across to the Lake District and to the Solway Coast AONB and Scotland!
  • Talkin Tarn Country Park – (01228 817 200 and Explore ancient woodlands, easy footpaths, glacial tarns. Enjoy tearoom treats, stunning views, family adventures. Experience fun activities, peace & tranquility, unique wildlife.
  • Farmers’ Markets at Brampton, Brough and Penrith.
  • Go Lakes – the official tourism website for Cumbria.
  • Visit Alston Moor – excellent website for the Alston and surrounding area – places to stay, things to see and do, food and drink, events.

External related links

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